T Nation

Bally Total Fitness Job

I’ve been looking for another job and put in an application for a receptionist/sales job at my local Bally’s (never worked out there before). I put down on the application that I’m currently studying for a PT certification and today they called and wanted to schedule an interview for a PT position.

So a couple of questions:

  1. I’m aware that gyms (like Bally’s) give 90 days to become certified to new hires, but how much knowledge/expertise do they really expect?

  2. The cert I’m studying for is by the NCSF. Is this a reputable cert?

From what I’ve gathered from other internet sources, for the most part large gym chains like Bally’s are good places for people to gain experience in the field, and usually aren’t looking for the best of the best PTs. I’m going into this assuming I’ll be training middle-aged, frustrated and rich women hehe

Anyway, please feel free to share your own experiences or offer any advice you may have. Thanks a ton!

So you’re saying that you want to learn and gain experience and that Ballyss doesn’t have good people working there. Wouldn’t you want to learn from the best so you can be the best? I would suggest to find out who is the best in your area and then learn from them. Not as easy at going to Ballys but nothing worthwhile is.

“for the most part large gym chains like Bally’s are good places for people to gain experience in the field, and usually aren’t looking for the best of the best PTs.”

The above comment basically means that because chain gyms are so large, they often have to employ a large staff of PTs. Thus, the minimum requirements on work experience etc. are far lower than what you might find at a privately owned, non-chain gym. However, they do have “managers” who have experience in the field and who I would assume would be able to help the less experienced PTs learn the trade.

I work as a trainer in a gym. Business for me is way up and then way down. I don’t try to ‘sell’ myself to anyone.

Half of the people I get are referrals. Learn the human body, be in the gym and look like you know what you’re talking about.

Biggest problem you will have is being a ‘good’ trainer, which means not interrupting people running on the treadmill to sell yourself, etc. “Personal trainers” by and large suck. Get results and up their quality of life = getting referrals. To me, with older folks, that has meant more holding a bar, free weight body squats, with knees way behind the toes, then unloaded box squats, hit a muscle then stretch it HARD (for them), etc.

Also be prepared for losing clients due to making them “too sore” (w/ 10 lbs dumbbells, etc). I’ve done 5 set workouts with people where they never wanted to see me again, but the ‘trainer’ who puts them through 40 sets of bullshit they love. If you can afford that then don’t worry. The ones who want real results, and will work their ass off will refer enough people to you to make it worth your while.

Small word of advice- No matter how much you do it- Almost NO ONE can be taught, no matter how well you are at it, how much foam roller, activation, and stretching work you do, to deadlift correctly. Even w/ the LIGHTEST weight possible for HIGH rep sets. Unless they’re a serious athlete looking to improve performance by a large margin, find as many different ways as possible to activate the glutes/work hip extension as humanly possible.

It’s possibly the movement most people need to learn the most, but no matter what you do or how you try, they can’t. Not all of the people you will work with are going to be athletes, or in shape, or even remotely ‘strong’ in their posterior chain. Even teaching them how to ‘feel’ those muscles is a challenge sometimes.

Kubo

Being a good or great PT is all about giving your client what they want, not what you want to give them. It’s a business not a personal ego booster. You work for them not for you.

Tell them what they want to hear and then give them what they need.

Thanks for the replies everyone. I guess I’m just nervous because I’ve always only researched/studied things in the context that they’ll be done by ME. I’ve never had to work with someone who doesn’t share the same goals and the same experience as me.

[quote]streamline wrote:
Being a good or great PT is all about giving your client what they want, not what you want to give them. It’s a business not a personal ego booster. You work for them not for you.[/quote]

absolutely, I guess this was in response to the poster above you.

I don’t blame someone for not wanting to work out with a trainer, if all the trainer does is at the very onset push them to the extreme. You have to know someone’s exercise history, tolerance, and ability to handle what you give them.
Challenging them is good, pushing them too much too soon will result in negative ramifications.

tell them 3x10

yeah, that made me sore

Anyone have experience at Bally’s?

I lift at one of the Ballys in Indianapolis. I have met a few of the PT’s there and seen some of them train people. I would say they don’t expect much knowledge going in at all. I would say you probably have a good chance at the job if you know the basics. From my perspective, Ballys is a 90% “soccer mom” type gym - pink dumbbells and all!

Went in for the interview today and was asked to take a test. I don’t think I did too well. The majority of it seemed to be questions about BOSU balls, “resist-a-balls”, and “resistance tubing.” The person giving me the interview stressed the “selling” part of the job and also said that the above mentioned apparatuses are a very large part of their training program. I kinda wanted to tell her to fuck off, but anyway I doubt I’ll be getting the job. lol

Oh well.

[quote]v1king wrote:
Went in for the interview today and was asked to take a test. I don’t think I did too well. The majority of it seemed to be questions about BOSU balls, “resist-a-balls”, and “resistance tubing.” The person giving me the interview stressed the “selling” part of the job and also said that the above mentioned apparatuses are a very large part of their training program. I kinda wanted to tell her to fuck off, but anyway I doubt I’ll be getting the job. lol

Oh well.[/quote]

That’s because they “want” the fatty clientele that don’t want to work for real results, because they don’t know better. If you can find a more hardcore gym, and get in there, that’d be my suggestion.

Working as a PT is a job like any other job. You don’t start at the top, you work your way to the top. Plus it’s the fatty clients that have all the money. Sorry to pop any bubbles but being a PT is supposed to be about getting fat people into shape.

I will be a PT by this time next year and I’m going straight after the rich fat yuppies, and I will get them in shape and they will tell their fat rich yuppie friends and I will get richer.

I’ve worked out for thirty years and have seen very few PT’s until the last decade and even fewer training bodybuilder. Get the education and experience and slowly build a rep for being a strength and conditioning coach and you may get some serious athletes to train, but that will only come by word of mouth. If you can get fat people in excellent shape people will take notice.

The grass is only greener when you’ve knocked down all the fences. Its a bottom up job not a top down. Good luck!

I’m going to keep working/studying to get certified and perhaps give them a call again.

I need to get a little bit more well-rounded in terms of training different types of people with different goals.